Council of Chalcedon (451)

I was just reading about the Council of Chalcedon two days ago and I learned that there were between 500 and 600 bishops there. And that only two of them were from the West, both of whom were papal legates, and two more from Africa. That means that the Definition of Chalcedon (below) which is authoritative for all churches except the Oriental Orthodox was brought forth from a very Eastern milieu.

Moreover, all the main sees were involved in the controversies on Nestorianism and Monophysitism which were addressed at Chalcedon (and Ephesus 20 years earlier). St Cyril of Alexandria was the main opponent of Nestorius, who was a monk from Antioch but who had been made bishop of Constantinople. The Council promulgated the Tome of Leo (bishop of Rome) as orthodox teaching against the two heresies mentioned above.

Also important: Ephesus (431) promulgated the title Theotokos (God-bearer) for Mary against Nestorius.

The canons of Chalcedon were all accepted by Rome except for the elevation of Constantinople to be a Patriarchal See second only to Rome.

Here is the Definition of Chalcedon:

Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly G and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.


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